Natural Ways for Caregivers to Tackle Sleep Issues
The stress of caregiving can lead to sleep problems, and while there are many prescription and over-the-counter sleep remedies, many home care providers prefer to try natural alternatives like these tips for getting to sleep and staying asleep:
- Find strategies for de-stressing. Make a to-do list for the next day, or sip a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk. You also could munch on a handful of pumpkin seeds or practice relaxation techniques such as prayer/meditation.
- Avoid eating and drinking after 8 p.m. This lessens the chance of needing to get up during the night and discomfort from overeating.
- Avoid using alcohol or cigarettes as sleep aids. While their calming properties may initially relax you, the effect of nicotine is like caffeine and may keep you awake. Alcohol use can actually cause you to awaken during the night.
- Exercise! But at the right time. Exercise is a terrific de-stressor, but physical exertion too close to bedtime may cause sleep disturbance. Allow at least three hours to decompress before bedtime.
- Avoid watching TV or using your computer in bed. Associating the bed with distracting activities like these may contribute to sleeplessness.
- Create a sleep sanctuary. Your sleeping area should be dark, quiet and free from electronic or other stimuli. Keep the temperature between 54° F and 75° F. And while you may be tempted to let your furry friend sleep with you, allergies or pet movement can disturb sleep, so consider a pet-free zone. To limit noise, try ear plugs or white noise devices.
Here are additional tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
Which sleep habits work best for you? We can all benefit from your advice on extra ZZZZZs.